Natalie Jablonski

Community Features Editor

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Presentations and Activities
4:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Youth Summit Focuses on Sustainability

In spite of the snow, students from across the state gathered at UW Stevens Point’s Treehaven on Wednesday.  The Youth Summit featured environmental project presentations and activities. 

High school and middle schoolers gave presentations on topics ranging from threats to coral reefs to recycling and how to raise crickets.   

One student presented on how to make biodiesel as an alternative fuel. 

“First you mix the heat, with the lye – 5 grams of lye, you need to use powdered lye instead of liquid lye…”

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Fourth Annual Event
1:59 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Sustainability Fair to Celebrate Earth Day

Credit Joshua Mayer / https://flic.kr/p/8B9N13

Earth Day is April 22nd, and organizers are gearing up for the fourth annual Sustainability Fair in Rhinelander.

Co-chair Ann Eshelman says it’s going to be the biggest one yet, with about 30 exhibitors ranging from green contractors to local farms.  

“It’s a wide variety of exhibitors.  We have people in the construction business, we have people in the gardening business, we have people in the retail business.  And we also have a lot of organizations that are conveying information about their sustainability mission.”

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Long Distance Race
4:13 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Rhinelander Native to Run Boston Marathon

Thousands of qualifying runners will compete in the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014.
Credit JD via Flickr / https://flic.kr/p/86nxiF

A former Hodag track and cross country star will run in the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Lisa Nienstaedt grew up in Rhinelander and now lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she works in physical therapy. 

After setting records in high school she went on to run marathons.  This year’s Boston Marathon will be her seventh race of that distance. 

WXPR’S Natalie Jablonski spoke with Nienstaedt over the phone about her feelings leading up to the race. 

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Deadline Fast Approaching
4:00 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Post Office Prepares For Last Minute Tax Filing Rush

Tuesday is tax day.  You have until midnight to mail your tax return or file it online. 

The Rhinelander Post Office has double staff on hand to handle the volume of customers.

Rhinelander Acting Postmaster Joelle Nelson says there’s an automated postal center that should help with the high traffic.         

“Which allows customers to mail products 24 hours a day.  I will actually be at that center tomorrow, trying to help customers fill out forms, make it as easy as we can.” 

Bat Populations In Trouble
10:00 am
Sun April 13, 2014

White Nose Turns Up in Wisconsin

White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus that fatally interrupts bats' hibernation.
Credit Marvin Moriarty / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Biologists have found the first trace of a deadly bat disease in Wisconsin.  Bats tested positive for white nose syndrome at a mine in southwestern Wisconsin.

The Grant County location where white nose was found…is within flying distance of an Illinois site where the syndrome turned up in 2012.  Biologists are guessing a bat from that location carried the disease to Wisconsin. 

White nose has also been found for the first time in several locations in the Upper Peninsula.

The Wisconsin DNR’s Paul White says it’s likely the disease will spread throughout the state.

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Ears Open for Cranes
3:47 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Listening for Early Morning Calls

Hoping to spot a crane on the Nokomis Flowage in the early dawn.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Birders were out before dawn this weekend for the annual Midwest Crane Count.  

     

“We’ll it’s about 6 oclock in the morning.  The rain is coming down lightly, but we’re out here counting cranes, or trying to.  Listening for their territorial calls or their guard calls.” 

Oneida County Coordinator Bob Dall explains that every spring, volunteers spread out to document sandhill crane populations, as well as rare sightings of whooping cranes.

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Trend Toward Cleaner Fuel
5:41 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Older Unit at Weston Power Plant Soon to Stop Running

Wisconsin Public Service is retiring a coal fired power plant near Wausau, and switching a second one over to natural gas. 

Weston Unit 1 was built in 1954.  WPS spokesperson Kerry Spees says the older plant is much less efficient in generating power, and also needs expensive emissions upgrades. 

“We would definitely have to do upgrades.  We’re in a time it seems when those environmental standards continue to get tighter and tighter.  And at a certain point you just have to cut the cord and say there’s no real sense in trying to keep this plant operating.”

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"You Live Through It, What the Dickens!"
4:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Other Side of Ninety: Allen Krueger

Allen Krueger, 92, lives in Monico, WI.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Today we debut a new series of interviews with Northwoods residents over the age of ninety.  Allen Krueger served in the U.S. Navy and had a career as an electrician, before retiring in northern Wisconsin.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski went to meet Allen…and his dog Zoe…at his home in Monico.

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Off-Reservation Casino Sparks Debate
2:39 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Potawatomi Say New Report Shows Gaming Market is Saturated; Menominee Disagree

Editor's Note: This report was updated at 4:01 p.m.

A report on Indian gaming is drawing mixed interpretations about how casinos are doing in Wisconsin. 

The report from gaming information publisher Casino City shows a slight increase in Wisconsin’s gaming revenue from 2011 and 2012.  But it also shows more than 3-percent drop over six years, from 2007 through 2012. 

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WPS Says Call Now
12:40 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Utility Customers Behind on Bills Could Face Shutoffs

This Saturday marks the end of the winter moratorium on utility shutoffs.  Wisconsin Public Service is urging customers who are behind on their bills to call sooner rather than later…to make payment arrangements. 

State law prevents anyone’s home utilities from being turned off during winter months between November 1st and April 15th, even you don’t pay the bills.

But WPS spokesperson Leah Van Zile says those unpaid bills won’t go away, and customers could face shutoffs if they don’t get in touch with WPS. 

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